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Integrated Academic Training

The NIHR offers three awards through the Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme specifically for doctors and dentists. The programme supports individuals to gain research experience as part of their clinical training.

  • Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF)
  • Clinical Lectureship (CL)
  • In-Practice Fellowship (IPF)

NIHR funds approximately 250 Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) and 100 Clinical Lectureships (CLs) in medicine each year. Funding is also available for up to 23 ACFs and 11 CLs in dentistry each year.

ACF and CL posts are hosted by partnerships of medical/dental schools (and their partner universities), postgraduate deanery functions within the Local Offices of Health Education England (HEE), and their partner NHS organisations.

The third award type, the In-Practice Fellowship (IPF) funds Masters-level training for GPs and dentists in clinical practice.

If you’re a nurse, midwife or allied health professional, you should refer to the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme page.

Further Information

Email, and detail if you're enquiring about the ACF or CL programme in the subject area. For IPF enquiries, please email

The NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is a clinical specialty training post in medicine or dentistry that incorporates academic training.  

This post has a standard duration of 3 years (4 years for GPs). Alternatively, it  can be taken part-time and extended up to a maximum of 5 years (or 6 years for GPs), as long as the academic component remains at 25% whole time equivalent. 

You will have access to Masters-level research training to develop your academic skills and equip you to balance your clinical academic career.

The list of available medical ACFs can be found here. Please refer to our guidance documents for all other information.

As an ACF you will spend:

  • 75% of your time in specialist clinical training
  • 25% of your time in research or educationalist training.

To be eligible for an ACF you must be:

  • Medically or dentally qualified
  • At the early stages of speciality training
  • Able to demonstrate outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry
  • Able to meet the clinical specification for the advertised post. 

The NIHR funds ACFs  in medicine through the IAT Competition to support Priority Research Themes which are listed below. Please select one of the priority research themes to find more information.

Useful information for prospective applicants

The NIHR Clinical Lectureship (CL) is a post-doctoral award that provides a clinical and academic training environment for doctors and dentists to establish themselves as independent researchers and leaders.

This award has a standard duration of 4 years  or until completion of clinical training (CCT/CCST) is reached, whichever is sooner. Alternatively, you can undertake the award part-time and for a maximum duration of 6 years, as long as the academic component does not fall below 33% of whole time equivalent.

As a CL you will spend:

  • 50% of your time in specialist clinical training
  • 50% in research or educationalist training.

To be eligible for a CL you must:

  • Be in higher speciality training (medicine)
  • Have completed a research doctorate (PhD) or equivalent
  • Show outstanding potential for continuing a career in academic medicine or dentistry.

From 17th January 2020

Please note that applications for Academic Clinical Lecturer posts (including NIHR Clinical Lecturer posts) require candidates to hold a current National Training Number (NTN). If a number is not held the candidate would need to clinically benchmark to be able to take up the post. Clinical benchmarking can be achieved through application for specialty training within the national recruitment window where the minimal appointable score must be achieved. Trainees are responsible for ensuring that their clinical application is submitted within the appropriate recruitment round to ensure that they are benchmarked before the date that the post needs to commence.

For further information please visit:  

The NIHR funds CLs in medicine through the IAT Competition to support Priority Research Themes. Advertisements for opportunities to support these research themes will be made available from Sunday 1 March 2020.

  • Platform Science & Bioinformatics
  • Therapeutics or Clinical Pharmacology
  • Complex Health Needs in Age-Related and Chronic Disease
  • Dementia
  • Medical Education
  • Acute Care
  • Mental Health.

Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals should reference the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme.

2020 Medical CL Timetable

  • Applications opened: 1 March 2020
  • Applications close: 30 June 2021.

Find out more about IAT Clinical Lectureships in Medicine 2020

Useful resources for potential applicants

The NIHR will recognise locally funded posts developed by IAT partnerships providing they meet the following criteria relating to the appointment and support for doctors and/or dentists in schemes that:

  • Appoint through national competition
  • Offer 3 year ACF (4 years for GPs) and 4 year CL appointments with 25% and 50% protected academic training, respectively
  • Provide access to formal training in research methods and research governance
  • Have a joint clinical and academic Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)
  • Provide similar supervision/mentorship arrangements for ACF and CL appointees
  • Offer a £1k per annum travel bursary to attend conferences.

Individuals in NIHR recognised locally funded posts will be classed as NIHR Academy members.

To apply for NIHR recognition of a locally-funded ACF or CL please download the application form, which can be found in the NIHR IAT Guide (Appendix 7).


The NIHR In-Practice Fellowship (IPF) provides pre-doctoral academic training to fully-qualified general practitioners, general dental practitioners, and community dentists.

This award will equip you with the skills and experience to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship. 

You may have received little formal academic training at the point of application, but should be able to demonstrate your commitment to a career as a clinical academic.

As an awardee, you will split your time equally between a clinical position and the academic training funded through the award.


Funding competitions open annually and full round details are available in career development funding opportunities.

Useful resources for applicants

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